Its 2017! WOW….2016 went fast. You’re probably curious about what’s going to happen this year.

With new technologies, strategies, and tactics that are emerging. It can feel impossible to get a grasp on everything. Here’s to a positive year ahead. This year we will see an aggressive shift in attention toward increasing customer spend.

Historically, marketers have very little to drive retention since customers behavior was relatively easy to predict. Today, this is no longer  the case – the cost of switching is slow and customer choices are high. Tomorrows marketing teams will focus on building relationships and engaging customers in personalized, relevant ways at every stage of the life cycle. This requires:

A) Balancing marketing spend to also invest in building engagement, brand loyalty, and advocacy with current customers rather than just finding new ones.

B) Investing in teams that are dedicated to driving adoption, cross-sell, and advocacy.

As Marketing takes a more active role in driving a “customer-obsessed” agenda, organizations will transform at different paces. 

A lot of innovation will begin with-mid sized companies first, as smaller companies are typically focused too much on customer acquisition and less so on customer success and retention. On the other end of the spectrum, large global enterprises may take longer to embrace the changes, although many will realize the need to do so.

Technology will play a critical role in this transformation. New marketing leaders will need to be tech savvy and have the right tools to “listen” to customers’ digital signals, analyze product usage patterns, and respond by orchestrating programs across the lifecycle and on channels where customers choose to engage.

There will be an increased focus on building authentic connections, and a shift toward giving as much as you get, if not more.

More companies will customer advocacy as a strategic weapon. to prepare for this shift, it’s critical for marketers driving advocacy programs to focus on building relationships beyond the transactional relationship required to source a reference or case study. This means going beyond just asking customer advocates for their support, to providing them with opportunities to showcase their expertise and be recognized by their peers as leaders and innovators, and ultimately helping them advance their careers.